We spend a lot of time as homeschooling moms educating our children. Usually we end up learning quite a lot, too. Like the fact that if you want an apple tree, you can’t just plant an apple seed (who knew?)! But I think it’s important that every once in a while we take the time to learn something new just for us. Eight years ago, I taught myself how to knit through books and a few classes. Four years ago, I taught myself how to make bread mostly through the internet. Someday I’d really like to learn more about website coding so that I could really work on the back end of this blog!
I was recently given the opportunity to review the National Tax Training School’s Federal Individual Income Tax Course as a member This Old Schoolhouse’s Review Crew. I was a little thrown off by the offer at first — what does a tax course have to do with homeschooling a small child? But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I know so many people who’d love to stay home with their kids or would love to homeschool, but their families need a second income. How amazing would it be to be able to work from home, making an income and homeschool your kids? This product is perfect for that situation!
Let me throw in one little caveat right here before I tell you how amazing this class is: I have a law degree… with honors. I did take a one semester basic personal tax law class while in law school. I know a teeny tiny bit more than most people about tax law because of that, but not much. In fact, before I started this class, I knew what an itemized deduction was but I didn’t know how to file them!
This correspondence course is geared towards people who would like to become registered tax preparers. Believe it or not, you do not have to be a CPA or an attorney to legally prepare taxes. You simply have to pass an exam given by the IRS and then register with them as a tax preparer. The goal of the Federal Individual Income Tax Course is to thoroughly prepare you for the IRS exam.
Of course, not everyone wants to be a professional tax preparer. I think most people are slightly terrified of tax time and income tax forms. The good news is that this course is also designed for the average person who just wants to know how to do their own taxes and stop paying someone else to do them!
The course is made up of 20 unit lessons and can be finished in as little as eight weeks. The first shipment of the course that you receive is actually only units 1-17. Once you complete unit 17 then you are sent the remainder of the course along with some other course materials. The reasoning behind this delay is that the tax code is ever changing. While it would be great to finish the course in eight weeks, if you end up finishing the course later and the law has changed, you will receive the most up to date information.
Each unit lesson includes the lesson material, which the student reads/studies first. Then you take a practice exam and finally you take a real exam which is then sent in to your assigned advisor for grading. Don’t worry if you are scared of tests — the exams are entirely open book. After you finish the exam, you fold it up and mail it in for grading. This was my biggest hang up with this program: I needed stamps to mail in my tests. I rarely have stamps around so it took me weeks to get around to finally mailing in my tests. I still haven’t received my scores back, I waited so long! I really wish that the provided envelopes already had pre-printed postage right on them just for ease of participation.
National Tax Training School is in the process of alleviating my mailing woes, though. They are currently Beta Testing a brand-new online version of their tax course. This will provide for much quicker responses and grading from advisors. It’s also a great option if you want to study while on the go without lugging around a gigantic binder!
I really love this program! What a fantastic way for anyone who would like to work from home; stay at home with the kids; or even homeschool to still be able to make an income! Plus, if you want to go work out of the house some time down the road, you have the skills and knowledge to do so. Now, the course does cost some money. The price differs depending on what kind of post-class support you want but the price range is $495-$795. National Tax Training School does offer multiple payment plans, though. And if you become a registered tax preparer, that cost would be quickly recouped.